It’s September, the weather is getting cold, kids are going back to school, and preseason hockey is happening. Normally I would go into more detail about the going back to school part and make an intro about that, but this is the preseason, and my recap will reflect that.
Instead of breaking down the entire game period by period, I’m just going to gif the goals, and get on to how each player played. At this time of year, the way the team played really isn’t all that important. It’s about the individuals.
Here are the goals.
Jesse Puljujarvi getting one from the slot.
EVERYBODY IN THE POOL! ♂️ pic.twitter.com/shGemNk92a— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 19, 2018
Ty Rattie cleaning up after Kailer Yamamoto gets a good chance.
Caleb Jones sneaking into the slot.
Caleb Jones, Jones. Calling Caleb Jones... pic.twitter.com/wgFqk3Ilk6— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 19, 2018
Ty Rattie getting his 2nd off a ridiculous play (more on this later)
Beauty solo effort by Ty,— OilersNation.com (@OilersNation) September 19, 2018
And Cam Talbot making an amazing save.
Now, time for the important part:
#8 Ty Rattie - He scored two goals, that shouldn’t be ignored but it really doesn’t tell the story. The first goal was a great job finding a loose puck in the crease, and the second one was a great example of his puck skills in the offensive zone. He took the puck from a defender, made a nice move, and slid it in. The problem is how useless he is in every other faucet of the game. He has no positional awareness unless it’s off the rush. He also took an unnecessary offensive-zone penalty earlier in the game. No one has ever questioned his ability to score, but given the way those goals happened, I don’t think it’s the kind of play you design a roster to capitalize on. He can score in unlikely situations, but for me, the negatives outweigh the positives on most nights. There are better options for the 1RW.
#16 Jujhar Khaira - Good game tonight. He didn’t get on the score sheet but he was positionally sound, logged a lot of minutes and was good on the penalty kill. One of the better players on the ice, he should hold his head high tonight.
#18 Ryan Strome - Awful. He got the assist on the Caleb Jones goal, but the puck frequently ended up in bad places after it touched his stick. Often you’d expect laziness or disinterest from some veteran players in the preseason, but this didn’t appear to be that. He’s better than this, but that was an awful game. Perhaps his vision training was snake oil.
#28 Kyle Brodziak - Fine. If he’s going to be on the fourth line to start the season, he did a good job of showing why he’s good for that role. He didn’t accomplish much despite playing a lot of minutes, battled along the boards, and dished out a few hits. He was ok.
#44 Zack Kassian - I hate to say it, but I think he’s on his last NHL contract, and I’m not sure he’ll avoid a buyout come next summer. He played a lot of minutes, but most of that was because he couldn’t get off the ice. He took a penalty, and didn’t get a lot done. Overall, pretty bad night on his end.
#49 Tyler Benson - He’s a good player. He didn’t play a ton tonight, got an assist, got some powerplay time. I didn’t notice why he played so little, but he should get more chances.
#56 Kailer Yamamoto - It’s hard to overstate how much I love this kid’s play. He was great on the penalty kill, and the powerplay. Just like last year — including the regular season — he had no trouble getting to the front of the net and trying to score. The kind of people who think he has trouble getting to those areas, are the same type who think Kris Russell is good at preventing plays like that. A video of Yamamoto going one on one with Kris Russell at camp would be greatly appreciated to put an end to that nonsense.
#59 Ostap Safin - He played very little. There isn’t enough information to describe his play tonight beyond that.
#65 Cooper Morody - Another player who had very limited ice time; However, he was fantastic in that time. He’s got all the tools to play in the NHL, and could be there very soon. He created some chances, and took some shots. He’s earned himself another game.
#70 Ryan McLeod - Honestly, I didn’t notice him much tonight. He’s looked very good up until this game, but that may have been a bit of a set back. He’s not making the NHL this year anyway, but I was expecting a bit more tonight.
#91 Drake Caggiula - Terrible. Just Terrible. He was constantly pinned in his own end, played more than any other forward and managed only one shot on goal. He has no business having a guaranteed roster spot.
#98 Jesse Puljujarvi - This was your star of the show tonight. He only played 12 minutes, but managed to put up five shots, score a goal, and drag Ryan Strome’s awful play all around the ice. If he can keep this up, he’s going to show everyone exactly why he was drafted so high. And it’s not going to take very long.
#4 Kris Russell - He may have been the 2nd best defender among a terrible group tonight. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t good, but he did log a lot of minutes and did a few things well. He sort of helped the play on the Rattie goal, but to do that, he gave up a clear path out of his zone, lost space, and then flipped the puck through a Canuck with no one behind him to defend. More often than not, that kind of play results in a goal against than a goal for.
#12 Jakub Jerebek - Easily the best defender tonight. It’s a very low bar, but he was about the only one to look like he has a shot at being a positive on the Oilers blueline this year. He took a bad penalty, but he wasn’t pinned in his own end as often as the others.
#13 Jason Garisson - This was just a sad, sad scene. I was shocked to see that he was only 33-years-old because of how done he actually is. He still has a great shot, and the Oilers might be tempted by that, but I would suggest they cut him right now. Don’t let yourself be talked into him playing pro-hockey. This is the end of the line. He’s made a great career for himself after going undrafted.
#47 Keegan Lowe - I don’t expect him to be waving any cup rings around in front of the local media. He’ll be fine in the AHL.
#82 Caleb Jones - He had a good camp, scored a goal tonight, and logged fair minutes. Ugly in his own end though. It’s hard to say if that’s on him or just a result of being on the ice with the wrong players.
#83 Matt Benning - This looked like mailing it in to me. No effort anywhere, and his play suffered badly. It was an unacceptable effort for a 10-year vet, let alone a 24-year-old.
#33 Cam Talbot - This is what we needed to see. He made some big saves, did it behind a crappy defense, and didn’t let in the first shot. One game doesn’t prove he’s back to his old self, but it was a great first impression.
#35 Al Montoya - One period of play, he was good in it.
There you have it, the Oilers win 4-2 over the Canucks and remain undefeated this preseason.